Canadian parliament approves genetic privacy bill, riles opponents


A vote in Canada’s Parliament to approve a genetic privacy bill is creating a self-inflicted political headache for Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s Liberal government….

The Genetic Non-Discrimination Act…is aimed at preventing the use of information generated by genetic tests to deny health insurance, employment, and housing, or to influence child custody and adoption decisions. It calls for fines of up to $740,000 and prison terms of up to 5 years for anyone who requires any Canadian to undergo a genetic test, or to disclose test results, in order to obtain insurance or enter into legal or business relationships.

Supporters said the law is needed to encourage Canadians to make greater use of genetic testing…But opponents of the bill, including health and life insurers, argued a ban would increase treatment and insurance costs.

On 9 March, members of Parliament voted 222–60 to approve the measure….The vote was applauded by Bev Heim-Myers, chair of the Canadian Coalition for Genetic Fairness in Kitchener. “Finally, the voices of Canadians, and the voices of science and medicine, were heard,” she says.

[However, to] delay and potentially kill the legislation, Trudeau’s government is considering not sending the bill to the governor-general…Prominent legal scholars are skeptical of the government’s claim that the law is unconstitutional.

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Canada’s new genetic privacy law is causing huge headaches for Justin Trudeau